in Aerospace / Events

BA launches its Centenary celebrations

Posted 1 February 2019 · Add Comment

This year British Airways marks its Centenary, officially launching today a year of celebrations to commemorate 100 years of taking the world to Britain and Britain to the world.


Copyright British Airways

Launching the celebrations will be a brand campaign featuring a love letter to Britain brought to life by some of Britain’s biggest names.

The campaign will first be shared with members of BA’s loyalty programme, The Executive Club at 11.30am on Friday 1st February and will launch later that afternoon across social media, with TV, broadcaster video-on-demand and cinema roadblock later that evening. The campaign includes stars of the screen Gary Oldman, Olivia Colman and Riz Ahmed, sporting stars Anthony Joshua, Ellie Simmonds, Nicola Adams, Chris Robshaw, Harriet Millar-Mills and Anthony Watson, musical icons Paloma Faith and The Kingdom Choir (with a cameo from David Bowie), alongside contemporary artist Grayson Perry, anthropologist Jane Goodall, chef and TV presenter Matilda Ramsay and Helen Sharman, the first Briton in space. All the famous faces were brought together as leaders in their respective fields and who are playing an integral role in shaping the modern Britain of both today and the future.
 
It features customers, cabin crew, pilots and engineers from across the airline as they carry out the final touches for a British Airways flight – BA100. Providing a snapshot of modern-day Britain, the iconic British superstars take their seats alongside people from all walks of life. As they make their journey on board, they each recount the values that they feel make Britain such a special place.

Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience, said: “Celebrating our centenary is a real milestone in aviation and British industrial history.

“This campaign is about thanking the amazing people who fly with us, work with us and partner with us. As it’s our 100th birthday, we plan to make this year very special for all of them – past and present - which is underpinned by our ongoing £6.5bn investment programme to deliver new aircraft, cabins, service and destinations.
“Our airline has been forged over 100 years. As we are inherently made by Britain it’s fitting that our campaign captures and celebrates everything great about our home nation.”

Gary Oldman, said: “I’m honoured to be part of the BA100 and to help British Airways celebrate their 100th birthday. It’s an incredible milestone for the Nation’s flag carrier.
Olivia Colman, commented: “I fly with British Airways a lot, but this is the first time I’ve been on board with so many incredible British people and I got to drink tea all day.”

Anthony Joshua, said: “It’s an honour to be asked to help British Airways celebrate such a huge anniversary. I feel privileged to have been involved in the BA 100 alongside people like Olivia Colman and Gary Oldman.”

Beyond the brand marketing campaign, the airline will be hosting a range of activities and events to mark its Centenary year, including reflecting on it its history by painting aircraft with much loved designs from history, with the first, the BOAC livery to be painted on a current Boeing 747, which will re-join the fleet in mid-February.

Looking forward to the next 100 years, the airline is also hosting BA 21119 - a programme, which will lead the debate on the future of flying and explore the future of sustainable aviation fuels, the aviation careers of the future and the customer experience of the future.

The airline will be working with expert partners to identify BA’s 100 Great Britons; the people up and down the country who are currently shaping modern Britain, and of course, the year would not be complete without some special flying and moments for customers throughout the year.

Handley Page Transport Ltd was an airline company founded in 1919 which merged with others to eventually over the years form British Airways. On 31 March 1924 the assets and operations of Handley Page Transport were merged with three* other British airlines to found Imperial Airways.

Imperial Airways was the early British commercial long-range airline, operating from 1924 to 1939 and serving parts of Europe but principally the British Empire routes to South Africa, India and the Far East, including Malaya and Hong Kong.

Imperial Airways was merged into the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) in 1939, which in turn merged with British European Airways (BEA) in 1974 to form British Airways.
 
A potted history of BA:

  • On 25th August 1919, British Airways’ forerunner company, Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited (AT&T), launched the world's first daily international scheduled air service between London and Paris.
  • In 1924, Britain's four main fledgling airlines, which had by then evolved into Instone, Handley Page, Daimler Airways (a successor to AT&T), and British Air Marine Navigation Company Limited, merged to form Imperial Airways Limited.
  • By 1925, Imperial Airways was providing services to Paris, Brussels, Basle, Cologne and Zurich.  Meanwhile, a number of smaller UK air transport companies had started flights and in 1935, they merged to form the original privately-owned British Airways Limited, which became Imperial Airways' principal UK competitor on European routes.
  • Following a Government review, Imperial Airways and British Airways were nationalised in 1939 to form British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC). Continental European and domestic flights were flown by a new airline, British European Airways (BEA) from 1946. BOAC introduced services to New York in 1946, Japan in 1948, Chicago in 1954 and the west coast of the United States in 1957. BEA developed a domestic network to various points in the United Kingdom, including Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester.
  • From 1946 until 1960, BOAC and BEA were the principal British operators of scheduled international passenger and cargo services - and they preserved Britain's pioneering role in the industry. The 1950s saw the world enter the passenger jet era - led by BOAC, with the Comet flying to Johannesburg in 1952, halving the previous flight time.
  • Additional airlines began to pass into BEA’s ownership and in 1967, the Government recommended a holding board be responsible for BOAC and BEA, with the establishment of a second force airline, resulting in British Caledonian being born in 1970.
  • Two years later, the businesses of BOAC and BEA were combined under the newly formed British Airways Board, with the separate airlines coming together as British Airways in 1974.
  • In July 1979, the Government announced its intention to sell shares in British Airways and in February 1987 British Airways was privatised.
  • In January 2011 the International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) was formed when British Airways and Iberia merged. IAG has since also become the parent company of Aer Lingus, and Vueling and in 2017, IAG launched LEVEL a new low-cost airline brand that operates from Barcelona, Paris and Vienna.

 

 

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